Thursday, March 5, 2015

I have a new companion this week! His name is Elder Coons from Spanish Fork, UT. I shared a car with him while we were in Chapel Hill so we were already pretty close. I can tell this is going to be a really good companionship because we are already ahead in that we know each other and both want to work hard. So that's good!

And that really reflected in how this week went too. We had probably the busiest week since being in Pinehurst. First, story time though. So it started snowing like crazy Tuesday, and we had to go up to Raleigh for transfer meeting (about 1.5 hours driving at normal speeds). Our member said he wouldn't drive us anymore so I had to drive us up. As a result, I spent all day driving. The roads weren't too bad some ice but I just didn't want to go fast. So I drove all day. No more please. In district meeting I got excited about the topic and went way too deep in the teaching. It went right over everyone's heads. Oops... I guess I had to make that mistake at least once though. It was still really fun for me :) We finally got called to do service in this ward! Woohoo! I have been missing a good old fashioned project. We got to help with 2 moves on Saturday and one today. That was fun. I love moving heavy things. But mostly I love helping people and we NEED opportunities to help out. So let the missionaries help you is my invitation for the day! Let them feel needed in the work of the ward. I love you family! You are my favorite. All of my experiences here really prove to me how incredible of a family I have and how lucky I am to have you. This is a tough world. But you stay strong and your strength gives me strength. Thank you for that. 

Elder Jeffy 
I am writing yall first this time so that I can give you a good letter. But then again I still don't know what to say. I forgot how to be sociable over social media. On the bright side though I am way better at it in person! So that's pretty neatttttttttt. This week was well consumed by an ice storm. It started Monday night with some sleet that froze over everything. It reminded me of Kansas. So there was an inch or two thick of ice/snow or whatever you call that stuff because it wasn't really either of them and they weren't separate so who knows. So needless to say Tuesday was deep clean day and we did a DEEP DEEP clean so we could really get in between the cracks and what not. Wednesday I went on exchange and it was still pretty icy but we went 'farm hopping' (aka tracting on farms) and had zero success in fact it was more like unsuccess because everything was frozen and nobody could be bothered to talk to us haha. I don't blame them we probably looked like ghosts we were so cold.

Thursday I got food poisoning at yonder Chinese place during lunch with an investigator. No fun. Especially because it scratched up my throat, and we went to a nice restaurant with a part-member family for dinner, but I could hardly taste the food. And yes I still went to the restaurant even though I was throwing up 5 minutes before... Not sure why I am sure my judgment was lacking as usual. Try eating cheesecake with a burned throat though. That was like pouring syrup into a cut. I wouldn't recommend it. So there's my complaint for the week.

Friday we had a mission conference. Pay attention this is the highlight. Elders D Todd Christofferson of the Twelve, Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Parker of the Seventy spoke to the entire mission. We got to meet them and hear from them and have a question and answer time with them. That was the best. They are so much fun and truly men of God. They understand the Atonement and know how to teach people to receive its full blessings. I have some really really good notes and insights but he spoke mostly on the spirit of revelation and prophecy. He told us we operate by both every day that we make inspired plans and decisions, because we know by faith what the outcome will be. He told us that ANYTHING we have done can be fully restored by the Atonement of Jesus Christ through sincere repentance. He repeated that same exact thing two more times for emphasis. That was powerful. Their wives also spoke to us and they were awesome. I have learned that the capability of your wife determines your capability from many of the church leaders I have met on my mission. So I will need to pick a good one.

Another news: Elder Conteh (my current Brit companion) is leaving us. I am getting a new companion tomorrow. I asked President if this would be my last stop and he is not sure yet. We will see. New companion this week though pictures to come. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Clarky
We had another great week! I felt a little sick though. My stomach has been acting up some so I have been taking some of the ranitidine pills and eating more and it is working pretty well. So it's weird to be working on college stuff. But everyone I have talked to about ROTC says it is totally worth it, and that if they did it again they would have done Air Force. It's a really good way to go. Now I am sure there is some bias being that we are in a military area (I don't know if I ever told you this but I am on the other side of Fort Bragg from where I was at the beginning of my mission now) (not too far away even) but that's okay because I have been praying about it and it seems there is a reason I will have spent half my mission in military areas. It will be a really good jump start to an aerospace career. So that will be fun. Busy but fun. I need to figure out how to put in an application. It has been difficult so far but I will figure it out. Make some calls and what not.

The work here is going great as well! We have about 4-5 people that have been coming to church and will continue to come. That number looks like it will increase as well. We will see. The harvest is the Lord's. I am just grateful to be a part of the labor.


Thanks for being so diligent in writing me too.
Elder Jeffy
I need to spend some time today doing research so today's is going to be pretty short. Sorry about that. We had a great week though! One of the days we biked over 20 miles with a ton of leaf raking in between! That was pretty crazy. Fun day though. We also had 4 investigators and a couple more nonmembers at church Sunday! That was awesome. This morning we played baseball with a bunch of missionaries and a couple of members, one that was a pitcher in college. I got to catch for him for a lot of pitches with full gear! It felt so good haha. I missed that. We also had a home run derby. Other than that just teaching and working hard! Thanks so much for your support and love and prayers. I really love it, and I really really REALLY love you!!!!!

Elder Jefe Clarky
This week was a lot of driving. I went on exchange with our zone leaders on Fort Bragg a couple of days and another day we had combined mission leadership council, a 6 hour meeting in Raleigh, which is a 3 hour drive from here with no traffic. So that day I drove way too much. It was awful haha especially because we got caught in traffic on the way home so it took an extra hour. That's all that really happened this week plus weekly planning. I don't know haha. I feel like I am starting to learn how to put my testimony into words though which is good. I have wasted most of my email time just sitting here not knowing what to write. I think I am a little tired haha sorry about that. Anyways.

Thank you for everything that you do! I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Howdy ho there. This week was filled with fun activities. Like jam-packed more than a turkey stuffed with a bowling ball. Last Monday we went jousting. I sent a couple of pictures of that already and I am going to try to send a video but we will see how it works out. It's been tough to send videos from my end because of how big the files are. Tuesday we must have walked 5 miles and biked around 15 on top of that. That was kind of crazy but we got a lot of good work done! It's fun because we have been going to this apartment complex ever since the week I got here when we first found it and now we know about everyone in the complex. We are starting to even be told about the gossip and what not haha. There are some great people there.

Wednesday was a fun one. We had lunch with an investigator with a high security clearance military job, and heard some great stories. A man came to meet him that had been in the President's office the day before. That was pretty crazy. Thursday was our Zone Conference! It was a lot of fun. I led the music (or was supposed to) and we sang Armies of Helaman, which is my favorite song. It's our mission song. I don't remember if I ever told any of you but singing that song at EFY was the first time I distinctly remember feeling and recognizing the Spirit. It has taken a long time since to change my heart but we are getting somewhere. I look at that as my take off point. So needless to say we sing that song a lot and I have never gotten through the chorus once without crying when we sing it together. Friday I went on exchange with the Spanish Elders and we ended up biking about 15-20 miles in the low 30's with it raining all day. We taught a couple lessons (I even helped teach some in Spanish! It is getting better) and on the bike back, my companion fell on a train track and ripped his pants. You may have seen a post on Facebook on that (one of the members here read that post in her talk Sunday! It made my week).  Saturday was a lot of fun. We learned how to make noodles at our older investigator couple's house and made a bunch for them for a service project. We are trying different things like that to connect with them. They are really good cooks and made us some roasted red pepper pesto sauce for our dinner.

Yesterday was the best though! It was our invitation Sunday. We had over 20 nonmembers show up! That was incredible. It was a lot of work trying to talk to everyone but we got to talk to all of them (I hope!). The Spirit was really powerful there. A perfect meeting for someone investigating to come to.

Today we got to golf some! We went to a driving range and played 3 practice holes. I am a little rusty but it was fun! We played with a member of our ward who is 17 and is incredible. His average score is mid 60's. That's crazy good! It was fun to play with him.


Love ya!!!!!!!!!
My nights after planning have become the busiest times of the day because of all the district stuff to do. So I have been slacking on my journal writing. I usually make it to about Thursday and then go a few days without getting the opportunity to write again so I have make up entries and what not. Haha not that a rant about journal writing is what you wanted to hear but it does influence my emails home. SO my excuse is being super busy which missionaries always are. Ignore that.

We have been working out every day or two with a member over the last month-ish, which has been awesome. I love it. It is almost like a pride day, just a little less intense, so I am getting back in shape. But it is not helping my weight still being low I am in the low 180's at best haha. I need to put some muscle back on eventually. So anyways that's a major highlight because I get to work myself to pieces in the morning and then I am really motivated the rest of the day haha.

We have had some milestones in the work this week! I am really excited. Two referrals from members that have become great investigators so far, one of them even was at church yesterday! This weekend we also have an 'invitation sunday' which is a church meeting devoted specifically to visitors so that members can invite all of their friends to 'Come and see!' There has been a great response from the ward so far because of the simplicity of giving someone an invitation to come see what a service is like. I am really excited and will let yall know how it goes next week!

Overall I am just feeling great. There is a greater power from the Spirit that is coming into my life as the mission moves forward. I love the Savior. His power has been changing me a little bit every day. Like I always say, every day gets better. Peace and strength just build up and I am becoming a much better version of me. I am not worried about after the mission. I know someday I will learn how to talk to girls again and be a student and what not but I will get to attack it with a different perspective. For now I get to focus on the Lord and His work and I love that. I love you too! Thanks for being you!

Elder Clark